As a practice which is driven by a mix of form, concept, and communication, ‘graphic-design-writing’ has sometimes felt disconnected from ‘graphic design’ itself. This project is intended to examine how design-writing can be self-aware of its own physicality, its own form, and look at a symbiotic relationship between form and content. And so here are a few questions to ponder upon - When designers are also the writers, do they stop being designers? As designers we frequently design the writing of / for others, so why not design our own writing? Why not write our own design? When does writing stop and designing begin?
Writing is a challenging task for anyone. People who are not inherently comfortable with writing, can many times get intimidated by the usual structure of ‘Academic Writing’ that implements an extensive vocabulary of technical jargon and ‘Artspeak’. To break through this aura of intimidation and inaccessibility, I decided to make a short and humorous guide to “Writing about Graphic Design” that empathises with the concerns and anxieties that non-writers may have when facing the challenge of having to write. The form that this project takes is a short zine with humorous illustrations in a flat vector style, including use of visual comedy and visual puns, bright colours and striking patterns that really complement the writing style and add a lot to the humour without taking away from the heart of the content which is really helpful for anyone venturing into writing.
The end result was a zine which provided something of value to the reader, albeit in a casual, empathising and humorous manner. The form and content go hand in hand as neither would be truly complete without the other. Overall, this was a really successful exercise in taking a relatively open-ended brief and making it my own. As a piece of design, writing that chooses design, and writing itself as its subject matter; the zine comes through as a clever, visually appealing and meaningful piece of work that I feel could genuinely help some people.